Information On The Coronavirus: We continue to monitor and respond to the public health situation regarding COVID-19. Most buildings on our New York campus have closed until further notice. Check the Parsons Paris website for information about our Paris campus. Learn more

  • Faculty

  • Eiko Ikegami

    Walter A. Eberstadt Professor of Sociology

    Email
    ikegame1@newschool.edu

    Office Location
    D - Albert & Vera List Academic Center - 6 East 16th Street

    Download vCard

    Eiko Ikegami

    Profile

    Eiko Ikegami is the Walter A. Eberstadt Professor of Sociology and History at the New School for Social Research. Ikegami is broadly interested in the dynamics of long-term social, cultural and technological changes with a focus on diverse routes to modernities in non-western societies.

    Her 2005 book, Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and the political Origins of Japanese Culture (Cambridge Univ. Press) discusses the process in which how in premodern Japan, politeness, art and politics became inseparable through mobilizing what she called "aesthetic publics". By theorizing dynamic interplays among social and cognitive networks that elicit even tacit cultural practices, the book won five book awards and extensively reviewed in journals from Science Magazine to the Times Literary Supplement

       Ikegami is also well-known for her book, The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan (1995: Harvard Univ. Press) which explicated the important roles that the samurai played in Japanese history with a sweeping analysis that spans from ancient to early Modern periods. The book is widely recognized as a classic statement on this subject, to become "standard reading in universities around the world", according to a review in Foreign Affairs; the book has been translated into several languages. Ikegami was elected as a Chair of the Section of Comparative and Historical Sociology at the American Sociological Association in 2003. At the New School, together with Louise Tilly,  Ikegami was a founding co-chair that initiated the creation of the Department of Historical Studies.  

       Since 2007 Ikegami has been working on a novel research project that employs "virtual ethnography". Stemming from her theorizing the notion of publics, her research investigates virtual worlds as communicative spheres, and more broadly, discusses how digital technology draws forth latent capabilities of cognitively or physically challenged populations such as autistic people. Her work was featured in a series of 3 TV documentaries, in collaboration with Japanese national TV, NHK on the topic of how autistic individuals found their expressions through socializing as avatars in virtual worlds. A recent interview regarding her work on virtual worlds is available here.

     Her pioneering research in this area has been supported by grants from the NSF, An Investigator Award in Health Policy from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and also by an Abe fellowship. Ikegami recently published three books in Japanese on digital avatars and people with non-typical intelligences.  The first one is Hyper-Worlds:Kyokan shiau jiheisho avatars (Hyper-Worlds: Mutual Emphathy between Autistic Avatars in Virtual Worlds": 2017. The second one is Jiheisho to iu chisei(Autistic Intelligences): 2019.  The third one is Edo to Avatars: Watakushitachi no uchinaru diversity (Edo and Avatars: In search of our internal diversities:  ) 2020

    Her most recent book, Edo and Avatars links Ikegami's digital culture research with her historical sociology of long-term social change.  Therefore this new book plays an axial role in her oeuvre.  On the one hand, it is the third volume of a trilogy of three Japanese books on diverse intelligences.  On the other hand, it fulfills the function of a third volume in a different trilogy of Japanese books that spans her work on historical Japanese culture, following her two main English-language works which are both translated into Japanese.  

    Professor Ikegami was born in Tokyo, and was a journalist for Nikkei (Japan Economic Journal) before she went into sociology. Her current project includes Japanese Postwar Capitalism: Cultural History. She has been also working on a book on Kyoto Gion Matsuri: One City, One Festival, a Thousand Years of  Taming Epidemics

    Areas of Focus: Comparative historical sociology; Japanese society; theory; cultural sociology; economic sociology; Information technology, autism.


    Degrees Held

    PhD 1989, Sociology, Harvard University


    Professional Affiliation

    American Sociological Association,

    Association for Asian Studies


    Recent Publications

    Selected publications include:

    Books:

    Edo to Avatars: Watakushi tachi no uchinaru diversity (Edo and Avatars: In Search for our Internal Diversity) with Yuko Tanaka. Tokyo, ( Asahi Shuppan, 2020)

    Jiheisho to iu chisei(Autistic Intelligences):Tokyo, (NHK shuppan, 2019)

    Hyper-Worlds:Kyokan shiau jiheisho avatars(Hyper-World: Autistic Avatars in Virtual World"); Tokyo (NTT shuppan: 2017)

    Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and Political Origins of Japanese Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    • 2007 John Whitney Hall Book Prize, Association for Asian Studies.
    • 2006 The Mirra Komarovsky Book Award, Eastern Sociological Society.
    • 2006 Mary Douglas Prize, (Best Book Award in Cultural Sociology), American Sociological Association.
    • 2006 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award in Political Sociology, American Sociological Association.
    • 2006 Barrington Moore Award, A honorable mention, American Sociological Association.


    Bito Reisetsu no Kizuna (NTT shuppan 2005)

    Meiyo to Junno (NTT shuppan. 2000)

    The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan (Harvard University Press, 1995)

    • 1995, the Best Book Award on Asia, American Sociological Association,
    • Spanish, Polish, Korean, and Japanes translations available, Chineese translation in progress

    Others

    “Waiting for the Flying Fish to Leap: Revisiting the Values and Individuality Practiced by Tokugawa People,” Early Modern Values and Individuality (2015)

    "Visualizing Networked Self: Agency, Reflexivity, and the Social Life of Avatars,“ Social Research (2013)

    “Emotions,” chapter in Oxford Concise Companion to History (2012)

    “Avatars are for Real: Virtual Communities and Public Spheres--a Reflection on Two Virtual Networks in early modern Japan and Contemporary Digital Culture”, with Piet Hut, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research (2008)

    "Bringing Culture into Macro-Structural Analysis in Historical Sociology: Some Epistemological Considerations", Poetics (2005)

    "Citizenship and National Identity in Early Meiji Japan, 1868-1889: A Comparative Assessment", International Review of Social History (1995)

     


    Performances and Appearances

    TV Documentaries: 3 series, "A Journy with Autistic Avatars, No.1-3" in collaborating with NHK (Japan's national TV) based on her research in  "Hyper-World".  Broadcasted in 2017, 2018

     Direct Talk: Appreciating Neurodiversity, Eiko Ikegami (Interview)---NHK World

    Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire.  PBS

    Search Results

    Web resultAppreciating Neurodiversity Eiko Ikegami - NHK WORLD

    Search Results

    Web results


    Research Interests

    Public spheres in comparative perspective; civility and state formation; identities, network, and social change.  capitalism and culture, virtual worlds, technology and identity, autism and diverse intelligence.


    Awards And Honors

    • 2019-  Visitor,  Institute for Advanced Study, Program for Interdisciplinary Studies, Princeton
    • 2012-2014 Investor Award in Health Policy Research, Robert Wood Johson Foundation
    • 2009, 2011,  National Science Foundation Grants
    • 2010 Abe Fellowship, SSRC/Japan Foundation
    • 2007 John Whitney Hall Book Prize, Association for Asian Studies.
    • 2006 The Mirra Komarovsky Book Award, Eastern Sociological Society.
    • 2006 Mary Douglas Prize, (Best Book Award in Cultural Sociology), American Sociological Association.
    • 2006 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award in Political Sociology, American Sociological Association.
    • 2006 Barrington Moore Award, A honorable mention, American Sociological Association.
    • 2001 Fellow, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library
    • 1995, the Best Book Award on Asia, American Sociological Association
    • 1995-1996 Senior Faculty Fellowship, Yale University
    • 1990-91, 91-92 Research Grant Award, Henry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, 
    • 1990-91 Member, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science, Princeton

    Portfolio

    Website in Japanese language

    Books

    Blog on diverse intelligences


    Current Courses

    Independent Study

    Independent Study (Fall 2019)

    MarketCult:IntroEconomicSoc

    Virtual Worlds & Human Civiliz

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application

Undergraduates

To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.

Graduates

To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.

Close